Good Luck Charlie

 
(i)

 

Well-rounded Disney sitcom offers wholesome fun to families.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show is meant as entertainment, not education, though families will see the benefits of working as a team to overcome challenges.

Positive messages

The show celebrates a family’s resilience when faced with unexpected new challenges, reminding viewers that although life is rarely perfect, the chaos is manageable (and sometimes even amusing) when you’ve got people around you can count on. It does often poke fun at Gabe’s distress over becoming a seemingly overlooked middle child.

Positive role models

Amy and Bob try hard to fulfill the diverse needs of all four of their kids and still maintain a relationship of their own. They call on their kids -- especially the oldest two -- to pitch in and help for the family’s sake, and Teddy and PJ are usually up to the challenge. All family members (regardless of gender) share in the duties of keeping house and childrearing.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some mild teen flirting and attempts to steal kisses behind parents’ backs. Girls refer to guys as “hot.”

Language

Occasional use of “butt.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there’s little cause for concern in this lighthearted sitcom about a family coping with the challenges that accompany a new (and unexpected) baby. The show draws humor from standard family fare like older siblings’ lukewarm responses to a new baby, and parents’ difficulties managing the needs of a large family. Apart from some very mild flirting (two of the characters are teens, after all), there’s nothing iffy in this funny spin on modern family life.

What's the story?

GOOD LUCK CHARLIE centers on the Duncans, an all-American family of five whose comfortable routine is upset with the unexpected arrival of baby Charlotte (aka “Charlie,” Mia Talerico). With mom Amy (Leigh-Allyn Baker) headed back to work and dad Bob (Eric Allan Kramer) busy with his pest-control business, it’s up to teenage Teddy (Bridgit Mendler) and PJ (Jason Dolley) to pitch in caring for their little sister, all the while maintaining their own busy social lives. Both are fairly good sports about it, but 10-year-old Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry) isn’t so understanding, seeing as Charlie’s the reason he’s been relegated to the dreaded status of a middle child.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A successful sitcom is one that resonates with viewers’ own experiences, and family-centered shows like this one face the challenge of appealing to a diverse array of family dynamics. When it comes to the modern American household, one size definitely does not fit all, and honing in on this viewer niche can be tricky in today’s society.

Fortunately, though, Good Luck Charlie’s content is well rounded enough that there’s something for everyone to enjoy (though viewers expecting any edginess will be disappointed). Whether it’s a seasoned mom’s uncertainties over returning to the work force or a tween’s reaction to being overshadowed by a new sibling, every member of the family will find something to relate to -- and get a laugh out of the show’s take on the ups and downs of family life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about coping with change. Kids: How do you respond to big changes in your life? Do you find the prospect of change exciting or frightening? To whom do you turn for help when you face a new challenge?

  • Kids: What are your responsibilities within your family? Why are those tasks important? What are the repercussions of not fulfilling your responsibilities? How have your responsibilities changed as you’ve gotten older?

  • How does the media portray family life? Do you think shows like this reflect typical American families? Why or why not? How has our definition of family changed throughout history? What role does the media play in people’s acceptance of these changes?

This review of Good Luck Charlie was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 2, 7, 10, and 12 year old Written by4GoodReasons May 27, 2010
 

My daughter doesn't need a boy crazy teenager as her role model.

Really! I am SHOCKED that this show is rated for 7+ and I implore the original reviewers to watch again. While this could be a GREAT show, I am so frustrated by the messages being sent by the oldest sister. EVERYTHING with her is about boys, getting her first kiss, hot guys, going to parties. There's even scenes where she flat out lies or deceives her parents. This show was on our favorites list, until I paid closer attention. Pay attention parents - this show does NOT give the messages you way your tween to hear.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bymusicprincess101 January 17, 2011
 

Many inappropriate "jokes" that are bound to generate questions

It's a cute show (I'm 13, btw) but definitely not appropriate for younger kids (e.g. eight and younger). I suppose mature kids could watch it. It's Disney, so you'd think it would be a funny family show, but there are way too many sexual jokes that irritate me whenever my 7 year old sisters watch it. Here are some examples: (Teddy to her parents) "Okay, have fun! But not too much fun - we have enough kids." ---- Mom: And then I met dad. Teddy: And if you hadn't, then I wouldn't be here today! [Note: this one seems okay, except my sister couldn't stop "pointing out" that Teddy would still be there - because "you only need a mom to make a baby right? right?"] ---- Gabe: (to Mom) Did Dad ever get nervous talking to you? Mom: Oh, when your Dad and I started dating we didn't do a lot of talking. Mostly we just... Gabe: Just what? Mom: Played checkers...lots and lots of checkers. ---- On the 2-part special where they go on a family vacation, there are WAY too many inappropriate jokes... here's the scene: Mom: Big news! Teddy (15 years old): Please tell us you're not having another baby. Mom: No, we're not having another baby. And I can assure you, we're not making that announcement ever again. Teddy: Yeah, this family is big enough - you completely clear on that dad? Dad: Why're you pointing your finger at me? Having babies is a team effort. Gabe (10 yrs old): What do you mean? Teddy: This should be good. Dad: Uh, you know what? Getting back to that announcement, we're going on a family vacation!......The place is called Mountain Bliss and it's Mom: Where your dad and I got married. Dad: You know the weekend we got married, we weren't even planning on doing it! Mom: Getting married....Then we met judge lawson and he said we were perfect for each other, so...we did it! Dad: Got married. Gabe: Why do you keep saying that? Mom: Haven't you had "The Talk" with him yet? Dad: I haven't had the talk with PJ yet! PJ (17): I'm good! Also, there's some mild nudity - for example, Uncle Mel turns around (so his back is facing the audience) and pulls down his pants and underwear. His butt is covered with giant foam fingers (they're at a ball game), but projected onto a big screen for the entire stadium to see. And the most nudity is in Snow Show (and all the commercials for it, too). PJ is completely naked, with his snowboard covering his private area. It's covered, but still who would want to see that? (Ok, who would want their siblings seeing that?) There is some kissing but nothing over the top. So basically, I agree with abbyccga and buckets. Good, funny show but definitely unsuitable for many young kids.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Parent of a 5 year old Written bykee10 August 14, 2010
 

terrible show for kids of any age

Most episodes show the kids lying with no consequence and they are very disrespectful to their parents as well as other adults. The parents set terrible example to the kids. They all use eachother and other people for selfish purposes. This is the worst disney show by far, and I don't allow any of my children to watch it.
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns

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